How Important Is Research Experience When Applying to Med School?

premed Feb 16, 2020

Is research an absolute requirement to get into med school? Will it make or break your application? There are plenty of misconceptions around research and its importance for med school admissions. If you aren’t sure how much research you should be doing before you apply or if you have any other questions about it, watch this video now.

Quick Summary:

  • “Does where you do your research matter?”
  • First, research is absolutely not mandatory as a medical school admission requirement. However, it’s a good “cherry” on top of an already great med school application.
  • If you do choose to do research, do the research that supports your application. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’d be sacrificing your grades in order to participate in a research program.
  • If you spread yourself too thin, it can sabotage you. Make sure your foundation is solid before doing a research project. Med school admissions won’t care how great your research was if you have sub-par grades in the first place.
  • Med school admissions want a letter of recommendation and scholarly output, i.e. presentations, posters, abstracts, etc. Think about if your research is going to allow you to get these things.
  • Ask your potential program about the issues above and what projects you’ll be doing to make sure that this research will be beneficial for you in the long run.
  • If you do a research program, be sure to take what you’ve learned and turned it into some kind of scholarly output.
  • The place where you do your research doesn’t matter so much when it comes to med school admissions, but what DOES matter is how you use the information you learn.


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